He’s been in war zones such as Gaza, met Masai warriors and the giggling Maharishi, filmed Presidents and Prime Ministers and flown in a B-52.
Such is the life of Nicholas Lee, a reluctantly retired cameraman for the iconic 60 Minutes.
Born in Orange and raised in Wellington, Mr Lee now lives in Carcoar and has released his memoirs All This in 60 Minutes, a fascinating insight into the world behind the legendary show.
With an introduction by Ray Martin, the book chronicles both the no expenses spared life of being part of Kerry Packer’s golden team, and the nail-biting, near death experiences of life of a globe-trotting cameraman.
“We were living like we were Kerry Packer,” he said.
“It was just unbelievable because in the 80’s and 90’s it was the top rating show in the country and we were really well looked after.”
Moving from being a cameraman tlo an author was an almost natural transition for Mr Lee, having lived and worked with journalists for two thirds of his life.
That shift though was a reluctant one, caused by two sudden and unexpected health events that have put the brakes on his jet-setting life.
“I was so lucky,” he said, “I was in Mosman having a coffee with my wife Suzie and I felt as though I was dribbling out of the corner of my mouth, it was all numb.
“Then later I could feel parts of the left side of my face go numb, so we went home and lay down and could feel my left side going numb as wel, so I slept for a while and after I woke up I tried to have a shower and collapsed. I’d had a stroke and was paralysed down the left side.”
After relearning how to walk Mr Lee suffered another attack in London whilst on holidays, he now lives the quiet life in Carcoar.
“We just love it,” he said, “This quiet lifestyle is tremendous. I read a lot of books and let life wash over me, I just wish that this had happened in ten years because I’d still be working now if I could.”
Mr Lee will be speaking at the Orange City Library on Tuesday, October 18 at 5.30pm.